Love Thy Neighbor


khalid_icon.gif walsh_icon.gif

Scene Title Love Thy Neighbor
Synopsis Some people miss the point of the holiday spirit…
Date November 27, 2010

New Jersey

A tinny fanfare of digital music chimes out in the dark, followed by a synthesized woof, woof, woof barking out of the battered old arcade case. A steady index-finger squeezes a plastic trigger to the noisy click, click, click of an equally plastic, hunter-orange pistol, followed by reciprocal sounds of faux gunshots and the bright flash of the arcade machine's screen.

Three pixelated ducks go spinning towards the underbrush, and the smile spread across Detective Daniel Montgomery Walsh's face is smug. Only a few electric lamps light this warehouse, with a spool of orange extension cords tangled like spilled spaghetti underfoot. The door to the outside opens just in time for Walsh to see that obnoxious brown dog rise up from the tall grass, a duck in each paw and a smile on its face.

"Hey!" Walsh calls back to the darkly dressed figure carrying a duffel bag on his shoulder and one more in each hand, "don't y'wish you could shoot the fuckin' dog in this? I mean, it only stands t'reason tha' an inexperienced hunter might shoot his duck hound." Waggling the muzzle of his plastic gun at the screen, Walsh lifts his red brows as he watches the hooded man slowly walking in to the dim light of the electric lamps.

"You could use a real gun," is a comment made as one duffel bag is dropped to the floor with a metallic clatter, followed by another a moment later. "But then you wouldn't really be able to continue, would you?" Half lit by the electric glow of the lights, the olive-tanned younger man stares up with one dark eye visible to Walsh. "This was all that was left," is how Khalid Sadaka changes the topic immediately.

Eyes wide and lips parted, Walsh turns his back to the Duck Hunt cabinet and looks down as the third duffel bag is dropped onto the concrete floor. "This?" The toe of his shoe nudges the corner of one bag, blue eyes accusingly lifted back up to Khalid. "This is all you've got t'fuckin' show? It was s'posed t'be a fuckin' safe house, Khalid. Who in the bloody fuck knew about it outside of you, me, an' a fine lot of dead people?"

Khalid turns more fully into the light, brows furrowed and the horrible scar cutting down his right cheek more prominently visible to where it cuts into his lip and gums where he is missing teeth. "Maybe you told your new friends?" Khalid's tone is acidic, enough that Walsh's nose rankles as if smelling the acrid stink on his breath, one hand swiftly withdrawing his pistol from within his suit jacket.

In that same motion, a flash of metal snaps of from Khalid's right sleeve and swings up to Walsh's neck, pressing against reddish stubble as Walsh's pistol presses against his temple. "Say it again," Walsh challenges through clenched teeth, "you go a fuckin' head an' say that again t'me you ungrateful piece'f shit."

Khalid's dark eyes stay locked on Walsh, watching him with a steady stare and a tightness to his throat. A bead of red wells up on the edge of the gravity blade, and up close, Walsh can see the damage done to Khalid in brutal clarity. "Only reason tha' little girl didn't carve you up like a fuckin' Thanksgiving turkey is because'f me, Khalid."

The knife begins to shakily move away from Walsh's neck, a few moments before Walsh's gun starts to pull away from Khalid's temple. "I don't like it any fuckin' better'n you do, but we'd both'f choked on our teeth an' been bird feed if I hadn't done what I'd done. They had us rolled up in a fuckin' carpet." It's no exaggeration.

When Khalid finally relents like an ill-tempered dog remembering his obedience school training, Walsh hisses breathily and daubs his fingertips at the cut on his neck. "Jesus Christ, Sadaka," he chides, "you need t'mellow the fuck out."

As Walsh turns, Khalid wipes his knife off on his pants, issuing a name as sharp as his knife at the detective's back. "Danko," might as well be a macaroni picture of Mohammed in Mecca for all that it makes Walsh turn around with brows furrowed. Khalid has the good sense to keep up his conversational momentum, though. "Might not be as dead as we thought."

Swallowing tensely, Walsh lets his head crane to the side, one brow raised. "He knew about the stockpile?" The Irishman's lips part as he holsters his gun back inside of his jacket, one hand still holding the small cut on his neck. Khalid's silent nod as he crouches down beside the duffel bags is answer enough.

"Fuck me," Walsh curses as he turns around, kicking a half empty can of soda across the warehouse, sending it flipping end over end and spewing fizzy froth out of one side as it does. "Cartwright didn't tell nobody else about it, man wasn't a shit-heel. He knew better'n that…" Pulling his hand away from his neck, Walsh looks down at the blood smudged on his fingertips.

"Fucking Danko," is whispered under Walsh's breath as he tugs a handkerchief out of his front breast pocket, then presses it to the cut. "Alright, presuming tha' Wallace didn't sing like a canary when Messiah chomped down on his balls, that leaves you, me an' Danko t'know about the stockpile. Fine, somebody got to it before we could clean it out… Wasn't th' Army or they'd have taken the whole bloody thing."

"It was cherry picked," Khalid explains, unzipping one of the bags and taking out plastic-wrapped bundles. "All of the claymores, twelve-hundred 7.62 NATO rounds, remote detonators, all of the C-4, th— "

"All of the C-4?" It almost sounds like a whine as Walsh waves one hand in the air. "Mother fucking God— fucking— " his hand squeezes the handkerchief at his neck and eyes snap shut as words fail. "Fuck! I just sold our last god damned shipment we got through. Now I've got t'go crawling back t'fucking Ir— "

"I found something," Khalid belatedly adds, turning his dark eyes up to Walsh. "Nothing major, but…" unzipping the next bag, Khalid pulls out a stack of police issue vests that read SWAT on the back, unrelated to his findings, however nice they are. "When I was clearing out the safehouse, I stopped by Tucker's building. Bought some information off of Tricky Ricky, found out that one of those red-scarves was living downstairs."

Walsh's brows begin to rise slowly as he circles back towards Khalid, intrigued. "He had the place wired to blow, went room by room disarming shit. No sign of the guy, but I managed to pick up some left-behinds. Looks like he bailed, probably because of the police coming up in. He had some IEDs, simple things but nasty. Ball bearings pressed into a few bricks of C-4 and molded to a suicide vest. Looks like he was trying to build a dead man's switch too."

"You take it?" Walsh inquisitively asks, daubing at the cut on his neck. Khalid pulls the bag open further, revealing said vest. A sharp whistle carries out over the warehouse from Walsh in appreciation. "Gotta' love someone what loves their work, yeah?" Khalid shows no such appreciation, only dour disappointment.

"I'm going to catch a bus, head down to — " Walsh stops Khalid dead in his tracks, lifting up his free hand with a snap of his fingers as if trying to get a dog's attention. Khalid quiets, but the venomous look in his eyes grows some.

"Need you t'run an errand, fuck Georgia for now. He can wait." Reaching into his jacket again, Walsh pulls out a folded collection of paperwork stapled together with a photograph paperclipped to the top. It's handed off to Khalid, who looks at the picture and then down to the information on the first page.

"Need you t'pick her up, she knows Castilades an' me. I want you t'take her to Becker, introduce her to the Chapterhouse," Walsh pulls the handkerchief away from his neck, nose wrinkling at the sight of blood darkening the white fabric. "Make her feel at home, give 'er the sales pitch. Won't be too hard'f a sell t— "

"Are you fucking dumb?" Khalid looks up from the paperwork with a slap of one hand — missing two fingers — against the pages. "She's one of them. Beck— "

"Becker can suck on my Irish creme," Walsh interjects over Khalid. "We're gonna' use her as a headline grab, just tell Becker to take his dick outta' his hand long enough t'make this work. I think you gave me some inspiration on how t'handle this girl anyway…" Walsh notes with a look down to the vest in the duffel bag.

Khalid eyes the vest, then the photograph, then Walsh in sequence. He says nothing.

"I can't think'f a better way to say Merry fucking Christmas t'Gideon d'Fucking Sarthe than' with a couple hundred ball bearings t'his fat mouth." Walsh's lips creep up into a smile as he takes a step back from Khalid, lifting the handkerchief from his neck. "Pick her up t'morrow, an' for the love of fuck don't mention my name."

As Walsh starts to walk away, Khalid looks down to the paperwork again, hearing Walsh trailing off as he continues to talk to himself. "I'ma go get m'self a fuckin' Band-Aid…" Khalid, however, is more intent on the photograph of the girl in the police report, then the name at the top of the page.

Anna Mary James.

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